Obama Administration Marks Next Steps in Implementing Nation's First Ocean Stewardship Policy with Series of National Ocean Month Public Events
Today, the Obama Administration took another important step to implement the nation's first comprehensive ocean policy by launching a series of events aimed at gathering public input from the communities and economies that depend on and care for our ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes. Feedback and comments gathered through this public engagement will assist the National Ocean Council as it implements a new National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, Our coasts, and the Great Lakes.
Under the Executive Order issued by President Obama last July that established the National Ocean Policy, the National Ocean Council is charged with implementing that policy. The National Ocean Council will host a series of public listening sessions across the country starting next week. Listening sessions will be held throughout the month of June in Washington, DC, Barrow, AK, Anchorage, AK, Chicago, IL, Jacksonville, FL, Honolulu, HI, Exeter, NH, Galveston, TX, Ocean Shores, WA, San Francisco Bay Area, CA, West Long Branch, NJ, and Portland, OR.
These listening sessions mark the latest milestone in implementing a robust ocean policy that will address the most critical issues facing our ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes and ensure that Federal resources in these domains are used wisely. The National Ocean Council's efforts will bring together State, local, and tribal governments and all of the ocean’s users—including recreational and commercial fishermen, boaters, industry, environmental groups, scientists, and the public—to better plan for, manage, harmonize, and sustain the uses that healthy oceans, coasts, and the Great Lakes support.
In addition, the National Ocean Council has launched a month-long online public review period for nine draft strategic action plan outlines. These strategic action plans will propose attainable goals and specific, measureable actions the Federal government can take to address key challenges facing our ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes. Today, nine draft outlines were released for public comment, including: incorporating ecosystem-based management; implementing coastal and marine spatial planning; informing decisions and improving understanding to respond to changes and challenges facing our resources; improving coordination and support for Federal, state, tribal, local and regional management of our resources; addressing changing conditions in the Arctic; enhancing water quality; implementing a regional ecosystem restoration and protection strategy; strengthening and integrating ocean, coastal and great lakes observations, mapping and infrastructure, and strengthening the resiliency of coastal communities and their abilities to adapt to climate change impacts. These outlines were drafted with input from a wide range of stakeholders. To participate in providing feedback for the strategic action plans or to get more information on listening sessions please visit obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/oceans.
Later in June, the National Ocean Council will host State, regional, tribal, and local representatives, experts, and stakeholders from around the country at a national workshop focused on regional collaboration and soliciting public input in planning for the conservation and sustainable use of our ocean resources.
In a joint statement, National Ocean Council Co-Chairs Nancy Sutley and John P. Holdren said: "Our oceans, coasts and, Great Lakes support tens of millions of jobs and generate trillions of dollars each year for our economy through tourism, development, commercial and recreational fishing, energy, and waterborne commerce. The public's input will help us target limited Federal resources to where they are needed most to help our oceans and coastal economies and communities thrive."
To obtain a copy of these strategic action plan outlines and provide your comments on them, please visit
To find a National Ocean Council regional listening session near you, please visit